This picture of a man swimming with a jaguar isn’t from the 2019 Amazon fires

27 August 2019
What was claimed

A picture shows an animal that threw itself into the water to escape the Amazon fires being rescued by a Brazilian soldier.

Our verdict

The picture was taken in 2016 and is of a jaguar which is one of the Brazilian army’s mascots. The image most likely shows the jaguar playing in the water with a soldier.

An image claiming to show a jaguar that threw itself into the water to escape the Amazon fires has been shared over 17,000 times on Facebook and Twitter.

The picture does show a Brazilian soldier with a jaguar, but it was taken in 2016 and almost certainly doesn’t show a rescue mission.

The animal in the picture is called Jiquitaia, and is reportedly one of the army’s jaguar mascots and lives on the premises of the Amazon Military Command. He has been filmed swimming with soldiers as far back as 2015.

Some media outlets report that the jaguar was seized from hunters. Others say he was found in the Amazon abandoned by his mother.

It seems very unlikely that the picture was taken during a rescue mission from a previous flood or fire, as there was a professional photographer present, and the people pictured in other photos in the set seem quite relaxed.

Fact checkers Columbiacheck have also debunked the image.

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false as the picture wasn’t taken when the caption says it was.

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